Bystřice pod Hostýnem is a place with one hundred and fifty years’ tradition of bent-wood furniture manufacture. The place to which Michael Thonet, by founding the bent-wood factory in 1861, predetermined its destiny for the next 150 years. The factory in Bystřice pod Hostýnem fascinates and wins favour of all newcomers up to the present time. It is the oldest place in the world where furniture is still manufactured on the principles of its founder. From its beginning up to 1953, the plant in Bystřice pod Hostýnem manufactured under the name THONET in different forms depending on actual situation on the market and in ownership structures. Since 1953 it is the company TON that has been making furniture in this place.

The Thonet’s system of wood bending for the manufacture of furniture didn’t come out of the blue. Wood physical properties – flexibility following the effects of moisture and heat – was known hundreds year before Thonet. It was around 1830 when a new type of chairs came from England typical of their saber-like bent legs. Only such shape was worth manufacturing by bending. And Michael Thonet had tried it. It was not steam at first, but a bath in hot glue, and also the moulds were utterly different from the later ones made in factory. However, Michael Thonet made no changes in English chairs; he didn’t want to change the fashion but technology. That’s why we can find many chairs scattered in chateaux and museums in Rhineland about which only an expert can say with certainty that they were made using the traditional cabinet-making technique or by bending. And when it is made by bending, then it is the work of Michael Thonet or some of his surrounding followers.

We are a Czech joint stock company building on traditional arts and crafts with the application of new trends in the furniture-making industry at the same time, with a lot of trends being initiated by us. Our products won a lot of awards, for instance the Red Dot or Interior Innovation Award and they are exported to more than 60 countries worldwide. Every year we present novelties from our product range in prestigious international exhibitions as are Salone del Mobile Milano, IMM Cologne or 100% Design London. In the development of new models we collaborate with significant Czech and foreign designers.

With the wave of new designers, a lot of significant awards came both from the Czech and international sources. The Red Dot Design Award for the Merano armchair and Red Dot Honourable Mention for the Silent Servant Petalo belong among the most prestigious. The Rioja bar chair won the Interior Innovation Award and the TON company by itself won the 2010 Manufacturer title within the Czech Grand Design.

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